Is Magicbones useful?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Is Magicbones useful?

Happy Sammy(Posted 2007) [#1]
Hi all,

Is Magicbones from ( helpful to create char. animation?
Does it has a system of standard bone name?

Thanks in advance

ardee(Posted 2007) [#2]
They have a demo download package of a few motion capture moves somewhere (the website is a bit crap but the link is there). Each seperate package will have a common skeleton eg milkybones package will all have the same skeleton and cholcolatebones will have a common skeleton to all it's moves.

Are they helpful for character animation? Depends. Don't think of it as a shortcut to great animations without having to learn rigging and posing. You will need to know how to edit and blend animations to get decent results. They can be a good starter and basis for learning how characters move.

One thing to watch out for is that motion capture files aren't usually locked in place eg for game models a walk animation is done standing on the spot (the model doesn't move) and is moved forward in the game engine eg moveentity or whatever. A motion capture file may actually move the character forward as part of the animation which makes it difficult to code.

Also, no matter how many moves a package might include it is highly unlikely it'll have all the moves you will require for your own custom model, hence you still need to know how to animate except you're now constrained to use their skeleton (which will be missing the required constraints such as IK and FK solvers, Track to, Limit Rot etc which aren't included in the .bvh file format).


Happy Sammy(Posted 2007) [#3]
That means it does not help a lot.

Alberto(Posted 2007) [#4]

Generally spealking, I agree with you
However just a question
Is it reasonable easy to adapt the prefabricated skeleton to your model ?
I tried but I could not achieve good results
However I am not a good artist and I have no patience for this stuff so I quitted fairly soon
What about your experience ?

N(Posted 2007) [#5]
I recommend you avoid them. They people running the site have been spamming Polycount and are not against harvesting e-mails for spam as well. You're better off finding a place that produces good animations and doesn't use poor business practices.

ardee(Posted 2007) [#6]

It's been a while since I played around with motion captured .bvh files but in my experience it's really not worth the pain of trying to modify the skeleton to suit your own model. You can change the scale of bones but modifying the location and rotation of bones will lead to nightmares. You will have to go into the IPO editor to correct the ipo curves to match your changes (move the quarterions etc) to get the modified skeleton to follow the pre-defined motion captured moves.

By the time you've got good results you'll know so much about rigging and animating that you are better off animating from scratch with your own properly constrained skeleton :)

I do sometimes use .bvh files as templates for my own animations eg import the bvh file next to your own rig and then you can easily see where to locate and rotate your own rig to match the moves. Great for adding those subtle movements of bones that can add that extra level of detail needed.

The key to character animation is getting the rig defined with all the IK, FK, Track To, Locked To constraints in place and then animation comes quite easily with, for example, a single controller bone moving all the foot and leg bones automatically.

This is a very good tutorial for learning rigging suitable for low poly game models. Obviously you can ignore all the facial animation shape key stuff. The tutorial covers everything from modelling the character all the way to non linear animation creation, I learned a lot from this tutorial.


Alberto(Posted 2007) [#7]
Thanks a lot